This is not news. But we are strangely pretty proud of it. Last week we broke a record for number of days over 100. And we rejoiced! If we have to live through it, might as well be proud of it, right?
Some girls, when looking for fun, would A. shop, B. treat herself to a relaxing spa experience, C. Hang out with girlfriends or 4. All of the Above.
Me? I pack up the car and go camping alone. In West Texas. Where, at midnight it was still 100 degrees. And where I don’t know a soul among the 14,000 other people who descended on Wichita Falls.
Now, that’s what I call relaxing! A few weeks ago, I set out and only took what was absolutely necessary and yet my tiny car was filled to the gills. Mostly it was a giant cooler full of water and Helen taking up the entire backseat. Of course I took her along.
So, this happened. I slept about two hours total – mercy it was decidedly warm. And a little bit lonesome.
Around 11 pm I started tweeting things like "I think my ribcage is larger than normal." Surprisingly, I got quite a few replies. Apparently many of my tweeps also think they have large ribcages. Greater lung capacity maybe?
And then this happened.
Rode for 50 miles. It took me longer than I anticipated. There was a bad accident at mile 27 or so. Careflight had to land so we stopped for about 20 minutes with the road closed. Later, I stopped to "help" a girl change a tire - she didn't have a cartridge and I had extras. Not sure how helpful I was but we got it figured out and her back on the road.
Old men love me. I get a lot of "You remind me of my daughter." That's pretty much the only people who talked to me all weekend. Old men. I was riding for a bit with Grandpa and he convinced me to stop at the station with Sno Cones. Of course, we all know I don't care for Sno Cones, but I could use some ice water. He talked me into posing for this.
Spent a wild Saturday night here. Posted it to FB, Coach Swimmifer showed it to her husband and he expressed concern about me being out there all alone. And believe me, I was alone. Everyone else went home earlier in the day. Coach Swimmifer replied, "Oh, she's fine. She's got a gun." True story. But I enjoyed my alone time in the Ag barn.
Because they had this.
Then more of this. Fortch, exhaustion set in and I actually got some sleep Saturday night. Or maybe I just passed out from the heat.
But I woke up early for this.
My very first trail race, a half marathon. It was incredibly fun and incredible filthy. Swinging bridges, rock walls to climb and lots and lots of red dirt. Fortunately, there was a creek crossing about a half mile from the finish. With water up to my mid-thigh, I was able to clean up a bit and cool off some too!
It was a great weekend. Hot, yes. Tiring, you bet. Detoxifying? Absolutely! Sometimes you just need to spend some time alone with your thoughts and push yourself to experience new things. Get out of that comfort zone! (and trust me; there is nothing comfortable about camping in August in West Texas)
I met new people, tried new things and learned a lot about myself.
But I’ll tell you, as much as I enjoy camping and cycling and going new places, I’m my very happiest when this happens.